Denise Mcgaha - Designed with a deadline

Archive for February, 2015

My Kitchen Inspiration and How to Do a Kitchen Refresh

Posted by Denise McGaha
Share This | Kitchen Refresh | 2 Comments » | pinterest

A few days ago I posted the first photos of my dated and dark kitchen.  It was like standing up and admitting a dark secret.  My name is Denise and I have an ugly kitchen.  Now I am about the reveal my deepest darkest secrets by showing you the pictures of the room I often try very hard to hide from the world.

ugly ktichen

I have felt this way for at least five years but with larger goals for my business, an office move an remodel, a recession hangover and other goals, the kitchen took a back seat.  We built our current home 15 years ago and haven’t done anything to the kitchen since 1999.  Now it’s time.  To be very honest, I haven’t given it a ton of thought and while some may agonize over the decisions, I just started to make the important decisions this weekend.

I must tell you that while I am ready to wave goodbye to our old kitchen, my daughter is actually very sad.  She remembers baking cupcakes, doing crafts and all the great family meals we have created here.  I have to be very careful to not tarnish her memories as she is a little melancholy about all of the change.  It helps give me a little insight into how different family members can feel about a big change like this and that while it’s a job for me and easy to do, its also the end of a phase of memory making around a part of their lives.

So here is where we started with a little design inspiration for you – fresh white, bright kitchens and a darker island.  All the doors in my home were painted navy/black a couple of years ago, so the island will match those.





I should let you know that we aren’t putting in new cabinetry (gasp!) and have opted to paint what we already own.  As much as I wanted to take the cabinets to the ceiling, put in beautiful inset cabinet doors and drawers, I had much more to take into consideration -including how much of this cost I would get back considering our plans for staying in this home. So here we go painting our perimeter cabinets a bright white (Sherwin Williams Extra White) and topping them with Danby white marble.

I have opted to paint our island cabinet in a crisp navy/black (Sherwin Williams Cyberspace) with a honed black granite. This island houses our gas cooktop and is used every day when Mr. M makes his marvelous meals.  (Follow along with him on Instagram @gato777 and his hastag #chefdaddyscoti to see his fabulous evening meals that come out of our humble little kitchen.)


Last, we opted to remove the higher bar top (seen in this photo where we have already removed the raised countertop) and make the space all one height and an additional eating space.  I plan counter stools here at this new eating bar.  We usually have at least two other children over for dinner, in addition to ours, a few nights a week.  Now we will have room to house everyone in our eat-in kitchen which only seats four people currently.

I think its possible to do a refresh and get a lot of bang for your buck without ripping your kitchen to the studs.  Do I wish I could do that?  Absolutely.  But with the current market price of my home and our future plans, that doesn’t make financial sense.  So here we go with a little refresh and I hope you enjoy the ride.  We hope to complete everything in four weeks and I will keep you posted on that timeline to see if we can pull it off!  So now you see the base scheme of our kitchen refresh and next I will give you more details on the plumbing and hardware selections.


Design Bloggers Conference 2015

Posted by Denise McGaha
Share This | Denise McGaha Interiors | No Comments » | pinterest

Squeeeee….It’s only ONE day until Design Bloggers Conference 2015.

2015 dbc speakers

While you are reading this, I am hopefully on a flight from Dallas to Atlanta (weather permitting) so that I can attend Digital Day at ADAC on Wednesday and the official kickoff of DBC2015 that evening.  The full agenda is HERE.  I am excited that so many of my friends will be attending and I will be able to catch up over events and dinners with all of them.

I am also excited because this year I will be sharing the stage on Friday speaking with Mitzi Beach and Christina Fluegge.  Here’s the scoop::

DBC2015 Agenda DM


I am looking forward to sharing my story of how a single project propelled my brand and how “Designing with a Deadline” started.  It involves a tent, losing an employee, hitting a low spot in my life and meeting Susanna Salk.  I can’t wait to share the rest of the story in my talk and helping others find that Branding magic that builds a Life Raft when you feel all is lost.

So if you are attending, please let me know in the comments below so I can look for you and say hello or introduce myself.  Looking forward to making lots of new friends and catching up with old ones too!

Travel safely everyone!!



Happy Monday, My Kitchen and Thunder Sleet

Posted by Denise McGaha
Share This | BlogTour | No Comments » | pinterest

I have so much to tell you since I last posted!  So here goes:

This weekend was full on so many levels.

Frankfurt Airport

First, I have had a lovely case of jetlag.  I usually do SO well when coming back from long trips, but BlogTour Ambiente with Modenus was so packed and full of fun, I guess it took me longer to recover than I expected.


I had planned to blog all weekend getting you up to speed on the beauty I saw while at the Ambiente Fair, but honestly so much other stuff happened and I was so drained, it just didn’t happen.  So you will see all my goodies…. just not today!  More on that to come.

Kitchen remodel

Second, I started my kitchen refresh.  I am calling it that because we are NOT embarking on a full face lift, but rather what I would call a little Botox.  My plans include keeping my existing cabinetry and just painting the maple to brighten the space.  I am also changing out countertops and backsplash, but that’s all.  I am retexturing the walls and painting the trim and walls a new color.  There will be furniture and drapery – maybe.  If I were my client I would hate me.  I am making it so difficult on my darling family.  Should we paint the walls this color or that?  I’m not sure if I want to commit to hexagon, what do you think?  Black island or Navy?  New breakfast table chandelier?  And the worst part?


We ripped out some of the countertops as well already and I spent six HOURS yesterday cleaning out the kitchen cabinets with Mr. M.  It was gross.  And overwhelming.  We have WAY too much and if we don’t start entertaining even more than we do now, we are just being plain wasteful with all the beautiful platters and goblets we own.  I threw away sippy cups that were somehow buried in the back of the cabinet – my children are 11 and 13.  Enough said.  So I will keep you updated on this great little project and I can’t wait for Mr. M to have a fresh new kitchen to create his culinary beauty for our family.


He is the best cook and this was the token “last supper” breakfast before we shut down the kitchen for the remodel Sunday.

Next, all of Dallas and Fort Worth woke up to an ice storm on Monday morning.  The meteorologists were using the words “Thunder Sleet” and all I could think of was Thunderstruck from AC/DC.  You can read all about it HERE.  So we have thunderstorms that are raining sleet that immediately freezes the minute it hits the ground.  Slick, icy roads – nice.


I have had the day to entertain my children, who also have no school today, and juggle an already full appointment schedule for work and try to keep all my clients happy.  Now don’t get me wrong – we have nothing on the Northeast which has just been deluged with snow for like – ever.  So I am not complaining, just sharing how this kept me on my toes for the week.  Stay warm Northern friends!

2015 dbc speakers

Next, I am supposed to leave Tuesday (Tomorrow!) for Atlanta and Design Bloggers Conference.  The amazing agenda is HERE and I can’t wait to hear Nate Berkus, Bunny Williams, Alexa Hampton, Brian Patrick Flynn and Marcus Sheridan speak.  I am so excited to be speaking as well (!!) and will be sharing a little more tomorrow about what to expect from my talk on Friday at DBC 2015.  I can’t wait to see all of my designer and blogger friends from across the country and learn the latest and greatest in blogging and new media trends.

Last – the packing.  Have you tried to pack for a four day trip a mere 6 days after returning from Europe?  A whole new set of great dresses and clothing required.  Everything you really love still at the cleaners or not being delivered due to “Thunder Sleet”.  Nothing that was seen last week in an Instagram photo with group (thank God for black) and comfort as the conference has long days and nights?  So off I go to get packed, juggle my schedule and check in at the airport for my flight tomorrow hoping it wont be cancelled due to  – “Thunder Sleet”.

Stay warm friends.


© 2014 Denise Mcgaha InteriorsClose Site Map